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Ozzie Newsome Feels Good About Ray Rice's Side Of The Story

Posted Feb 22, 2014

While the situation is concerning, the Ravens will 'stand down' until all the facts are gathered.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome addressed the media Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he took a number of questions about the status of Ray Rice following his arrest on domestic violence charges last weekend. 

Newsome has not spoken with Rice yet about the incident, but the running back has been in communication with members of the organization. Rice has had several conversations with Head Coach John Harbaugh, Director of Player Development Harry Swayne and Director of Security Darren Sanders, who have relayed that information back to Newsome.

Based on those conversations, Newsome suggested there is more to the story than what has currently been reported.

“Right now I feel very good about his side of the story, but I also feel very good about what he has done since that to help himself to not allow himself to get in a situation like that again,” Newsome said. “I think that’s the best way to say it.”

Rice and his fiancée, Janay Palmer, were both arrested and charged with simple assault domestic violence following the incident in an Atlantic City casino. A court summons alleges that Rice struck Palmer with his hand and rendered her unconscious.

Video released by TMZ shows Rice pull Palmer out of an elevator while she appears to be unconscious, but it does not show the events leading up to that portion of security footage.

“I did [watch the video] online just like everybody else did, and it doesn’t look good,” Newsome said. “But I’m going to reserve all my comments up until I have a chance to talk to Ray.  From what I’ve gotten from John and from Harry and Darren, the whole video needs to be reviewed.

“I don’t know if anybody here has had the opportunity to talk to Ray, and I don’t know if a different story is going to come out. The video is what it is. But like I said, up until the process runs its course, we as an organization, we will stand down.”

Newsome reiterated Harbaugh’s message from an interview Friday, where he said that Rice is still in the team’s plans for next season and that the organization is still gathering information about the case.

“In any of those situations, it’s very concerning, but up until we get all of the facts we will allow the process run its course,” Newsome said. “I think John said it best yesterday:  ‘We will let the facts determine what the consequences will be.’”

Depending on additional information that is released, Rice could face punishment from the NFL. A report from Sports Illustrated said that video exists of Rice knocking out Palmer, and that he could face a suspension from the league.

In regards to a potential punishment, Newsome said that Ravens will refer to the NFL’s rules regarding player conduct.

“As a league, we have a conduct policy,” he said. “Being a member of the league, we will follow that from A to Z. Up until we get to that point – right now he falls under the personal conduct policy with the league. And we will allow the league to take its position before we will have to take any.”

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